Year Inducted: 

George Duncan

A native of Auburn, Kentucky, George Duncan’s career at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment spanned five decades. He left a lasting legacy through his engineering expertise and his devotion to the 4-H youth development program.

Duncan received his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Kentucky in 1961, 1964 and 1979, respectively.  He was a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1961 through 1964.

He became an agriculture engineering specialist with the Cooperative Extension Service in 1966 and served Kentucky as a specialist and professor until his retirement in 2007. He helped improve structural and environmental facilities for agricultural crops throughout his career and for animals during the early part of this career.

Duncan is credited with helping the tobacco industry transition from the time-consuming, hand-tying packaging system to bales. This saved farmers on stripping and hauling costs. For this work, Progressive Farmer Magazine named him the 1983 Man of the Year in Kentucky Agriculture. He also holds three U.S. patents for various tobacco-related equipment.

In 1995, Duncan became the first extension coordinator in the UK Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and continued in this role until 2001.

Duncan also benefited 4-H with his expertise, and he was a strong contributor throughout his career. He was part of a five-person team that developed the first 4-H computer project series, which earned a U.S. Department of Agriculture 1986 Superior Service Award. Through the years, he worked on many 4-H related projects, was a contest judge and advisor and served as interim assistant director for 4-H in 2002-2003. He is a member of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation and a recipient of the Kentucky 4-H Youth Development Distinguished Leadership Award.

Duncan, who lives in Lexington, is the recipient of many honors and awards including the Wendell H. Ford Tobacco Leadership Award, American Society of Biological and Agricultural Engineers Fellow and the Ag and HES Alumni Association’s Bluegrass Area Outstanding Alumnus. He continues to support his alma mater today through the Scovell Society and scholarship funds for students in biosystems and agricultural engineering and human environmental sciences as well as the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity building fund.